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GSA Centers Bring Telepresence to the Federal Government

October 20, 2011 at 7:50 am PST

Back in July, I wrote about the federal government’s General Services Administration’s (GSA) plan to install 15 telepresence centers in federal buildings around the country.  Well, I’m excited to report those sites are up and running!

Outfitted with Cisco TelePresence, the sites allow federal employees to conduct face-to-face, real time meetings with colleagues in faraway locations without incurring any travel expenses. Participants can share electronic documents and presentations, discuss strategy, and look each other in the eye across the virtual table. The GSA sites are open to employees from agencies that register to use the telepresence system.

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Telework: Stressing over what you can’t see?

Looking for tips on how to manage your teleworkers… and what you can’t see?  Join me and hundreds of others at the 2011 Telework Exchange Town Hall Meeting , today in Washington, DC.   Hear from distinguished industry experts and US Federal Government leaders on how they are successfully supporting telework.  Can’t attend, then check out the “Five Tips to Manage What You Can’t See”from WorldatWork, a not-for-profit organization providing education, conferences and research focused on global human resources issues including compensation, benefits, work-life and integrated total rewards to attract, motivate and retain a talented workforce.

Know of other helpful tools and resources, please share!

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Is “Telework” fast becoming the new work norm?

Technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Organizations are increasingly adopting BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies.  Businesses and governments are changing how they work.  In a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, “Employees Alone Together, ”  the author features organizations that are growing because of their alternative work arrangements.  Technology is allowing these organizations to innovate in ways previously never envisioned.  They are creating communities of interest virtually, celebrating success and planning for tomorrow -- without requiring employees to work longer hours.

Do you want greater work flexibility for your organization?  Learn how technology, when aligned with policies and procedures -- can increase productivity and accelerate your mission task or goal.

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The New Age of Conference Calls—You’ll Actually Want to Tune In

October 12, 2011 at 6:48 am PST

In her BNET column, “168 Hours,” Laura Vanderkam recently shared “22 Things to Do During That Boring Conference Call.” While I applaud Vanderkam’s suggestions to write love letters and thank-you notes, read poetry, and do other things that arguably make the world a better place, I also agree with her that if people need conference call distractions to pass the time, perhaps they should instead think of ways to make the calls more worthwhile.

So how do you make a conference call productive? Host it over telepresence. The face-to-face connection commands people’s attention—you can’t hide from the person staring at you across the virtual table! With telepresence, participants can read each other’s nuanced body language and engage in lively, natural dialogue without the common audio call hazard of talking over one another. Just by paring down the confusion of faceless communication, telepresence calls can take regular 60-minute conferences down to 45 or 50 minutes. Add up those savings over the course of the week, and you’ve earned back several hours of quality time. Read More »

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Technology in the federal government

I recently had the opportunity to visit with Bill Bransford. Bill is with Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C., a law firm in the DC area, and is also the host of FED TALK, a radio show that is taped live every other Friday at 11:00 a.m. I was one of the two guests on this past week, along with Tim Simon, to discuss technology in the federal government. Topics included Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Mobility and Telework, and the ever famous Bring Your Own Device to work discussion. Read More »

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